Cameras in the Delivery Room: A Dying Tradition
For many years now, parents have been bringing cameras into the delivery room to capture the birth of their children. Through the use of cameras, parents are able to document this momentous occasion in their lives and share it with their family and friends. Currently there are no national standards about cameras or video recorders in the delivery room. Each hospital sets its own policy regarding the issue. As wonderful as cameras are for expectant parents, many healthcare professionals are seeking to ban them during childbirth because they are concerned that cameras will pick up delivery room errors. As such, hospitals have started to rethink their policies regarding cameras in the delivery room in the wake of concerns that the pictures or video footage could be used as evidence in birth injury medical malpractice suits.
Medical Malpractice Caught on Tape
In 2007, a video was taken by a father at the University of Illinois Hospital, showing a nurse-midwife using excessive force to deliver a baby. The nurse-midwife’s delivery technique ultimately resulted in shoulder complications and a permanent injury in the baby. The family pursued legal action for their child’s birth injury and was finally granted a settlement of $2.3 million for the birth injuries. If the video did not exist, this baby may have never received compensation. Videos taken of a delivery can serve as ultimate, unbiased, and crucial bits of evidence in medical malpractice cases related to birth injury. They can protect medical professionals who provide the proper standard of care or they can protect the children who suffer birth injuries from instances of medical malpractice. Hospitals that do allow cameras in the delivery room can use the exposure to demonstrate the outstanding care and expertise that takes place in their facilities.
Why Are Hospitals Banning Cameras from the Delivery Room?
When hospitals allow cameras in the delivery room, it shows that they are confident in the quality of care that their doctors and medical professionals provide. Accordingly, bans on the use of cameras in the delivery room indicate a lack of confidence in the abilities of their medical staff. As it becomes more common for hospitals to restrict the use of cameras in the delivery room, many expectant families fear for the safety of their unborn children.